Wednesday, 3 August 2011

One With Everything On It;

'Cause this post is going to be a little bit like one of those pizzas. I figured I was going to do a post for each of the “toppings”, but then I got lazy and decided to do this for reasons threefold; 1) I am a woman, and women multitask; 2) none of the “toppings” could really make a satisfying “pizza” on their own; 3) I am about to embark on a mega-tight schedule set by the mother who will decapitate me if I do not stick to it, so this is like my farewell. When I come back (if I come back) I may vividly resemble a yeti. I’m just warning you.

Alright, onto the “pizza”. First topping is;

Philosophy; I had my Knowledge & the World resit on Monday, and I came out wanting to get on the bus instead of flinging myself under it, so I’m taking that as a good sign. I didn’t start studying until the week before and even then I didn’t study much because, firstly, my lazy-ass-self-deprecating ethos was “I didn’t get it the first time around. How am I supposed to get it seven months later?” and also because I was hoping that the theory of osmosis would kick in during the exam. To make me feel better, my dad spun me a yarn about me going back in time to kill Descartes. It was rather cathartic. I don’t have anything against the guy, it’s just that my brain is incapable of absorbing his philosophy. Anyway, I’m not picking philosophy as an elective in second year (uni seems to have turned me into one of those “path of least resistance” types) and this makes me kind of sad, because, I did end up loving it. I learned a lot about arguing and rhetoric, about historical beliefs and perceptions, about logic and how I don’t have any, about the origins of politics, and I got panoramic views of controversial issues like abortion, infanticide, euthanasia and animal rights. Maybe that sounds totally grim, but I found it really interesting. I’m going to miss the gorgeous Sir Charles Wilson building all the lectures were held in and the security man I made friends with who always listened to pop music on his crackly radio. I’m going to miss my seat! I’m going to miss the lecturers; Platchias the Greek cowboy and how we always ran into one another, the Pepsi Addict who never missed a chance to slag off Russell Brand, the Jack Whitehall lookalike who wore clothes you needed sunglasses to look at. I’m going to miss my second semester tutor who took a shine to me and called me Rosie Posie and who sat and worked out one night exactly the grade I had to get in my exam to pass the course. I’m going to miss that whole tutorial group, how I was the only one who was there every week and how I had my own seat that everyone respected and how we were like a weird family who had debates about retributive robot rape and polar bears eating their cubs (they goddamn well do, Dave!). I’m going to miss the malevolent glint in my tutor’s eye as he put the two Daves in one team with the full expectation that the world would implode and be swallowed in white. I’m going to miss the whole cast of characters; my friend Dave with the sapphire eyes, Nickelback Guy (who was actually more into Metallica, so he’d probably hit me for that), The Other Chick who it transpires works with Meejin and remembers the polar bears, Big Fat Johnny and our Whiteboard of Punishment, Dreadlocks and our discussions about my essay and his dreadlocks, Andrew Pretty Boy and his poser beanie and how he always held the door open and how we almost got run over on Great Western Road. I’m very much going to miss standing outside the old crumbly stone building on a Friday, inhaling smoke and God knows what else, standing talking to the guys and stamping the cold away. I’m going to miss non-coffee. I am going to miss being one of the guys and always arriving totally breathless because I had to run from the top of the hill and down and up and along. And I’m going to miss the fact they all appreciated my hat. I will even look back fondly on the final comment my first semester John Lennon tutor wrote at the bottom of my F-yielding Descartes essay: “This reads more like a blog post”. I didn’t have to learn that it was possible for me to fail—I already knew that. I learned a ton of other cool stuff. But it’s been kind of a lesson to other people in my life that I can and do fail, sometimes, and that’s okay!

Boy, this old bird sure does ramble on a bit, doesn’t she?

Seagulls in Suburbia; It all started a few months ago on an overcast Sunday when the mother, the father and the me were coming home from the weekly Tesco shopping trip and looked up in alarm at the loud squawking to see two seagulls atop our roof...going at it. Fast-forward to now, and there are a nest of them in our chimney. We are the talk of the neighbourhood. We have even become a bit of a tourist attraction. Some people dislike our gulls because they make a hell of a noise in the morning/at night/when strangers walk past, but the residents of our four-in-a-block have become just as protective of the gulls as the gull parents are of their chicks. Which is very. I for one like the sound of seagulls because I love the sea and when I close my eyes at night I can imagine I’m there and I can almost hear the waves whispering against the shore. During my gap year I took it upon myself to learn some enlightenment, so on my father’s recommendation, I read Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach and it’s now one of my favourite books. It’s just so beautiful and simple and inspiring. It has gems like this: “You will begin to touch heaven, Jonathan, in the moment that you touch perfect speed. And that isn’t flying a thousand miles an hour, or a million, or flying at the speed of light. Because any number is a limit, and perfection doesn’t have limits. Perfect speed, my son, is being there.” So, as soon as I learned there were three adorable little fuzzy seagull chicks living on our roof, I knew I had to name them accordingly. I watched their behaviour for a while, documenting their tentative progress in photographs, and decided that the boldest one should be named Jonathan. The other two are named Jonah and Joanna. I know this all makes me sound completely and utterly bonkers, but I don’t care. The seagull parents have long since accepted me as One of Them, and they no longer dive bomb me on my comings and goings. They are better than guard dogs. And it is rather funny watching women with prams and bands of small children run in terror down the street. Reminiscent of The Birds, I guess. Which is possibly another reason I so enjoy the seagulls being here. However, our neighbour across the street who is currently building the Great Wall of China in his front garden and has been doing so for the past ten years, does not like the seagulls so much and tolerates them through a tight grin, and has tried to conspire a plan with my father to climb up onto the roof and smash the eggs should the gulls return next year. I dare say he will be pecked to death before ever reaching the nest. The baby gulls have now begun to fly and soon they’ll be off and this is all timing in rather well with my ascendency into adulthood! Which leads me to the next topic...